DLC Welcomes Three New Board Members

March 14th, 2019

All three of David Lawrence Center’s new board members have been personally touched by mental health and/or addiction issues in one way or another.

Karen Mosteller’s daughter struggles with depression and anxiety. Chris Vernon’s brother is dealing with what looks like early onset dementia. And Laird Grant Groody has seen both addiction and mental illness in her family.

Those connections alone, of course, don’t qualify a person for serving on our board. But they do help all three of them to better understand those we serve—because they’re already bringing a measure of compassion and empathy to the table.

Here’s a closer look at all three new board members:

Karen Mosteller, CPA, CHBC

Mosteller knows the pain of a parent who just wants the best for a struggling child. “I am always looking for ways to help my daughter, and how to do or say the right things,” she says. “As a family, we have had difficult times, and years. If David Lawrence Center can help one family not have to go through what we are going through, I want to be a part of that.”

A CPA and a Certified Healthcare Business Consultant, Mosteller says DLC’s board is “a good fit for me. I will be able to offer my skills not only on the financial end, but also in strategic business planning and consulting. My strength is helping my clients run their businesses and part of their management team. I hope to be able to offer that to DLC.”

Mosteller has been married for 25 years “to my best friend,” Chip Mosteller. They have two children—Jordan (29) and Jessica (22). They are members of Our Savior Lutheran Church. Mosteller says she enjoys camping, outdoor activities, and reading, but “my passion is really working. I enjoy being with and helping my clients be the best that they can be.”

Chris Vernon

Vernon says he’s impressed by DLC’s “breadth and depth of the services, its evidence-based decision-making approach, and how effectively and efficiently it is operated.”

A partner at Vernon Litigation Group, he believes his experience as an attorney who has spent time in hearing rooms and board rooms will be helpful to DLC.

Vernon lists four primary reasons he wants to serve on the board:

  • “An evolving realization of how impactful mental health is to our community and society. Historically, I have focused most of my civic and charity work in the area of education, but I now realize that mental health (like education) has a significant impact on almost all critical areas of our community. County Commissioner Andy Solis’s focus and leadership on mental health issues has helped me to realize the importance of this issue.”
  • “A concern that mobile phones and social media seem to be having a negative impact on the mental health of children, teenagers, and adults, and I would like to help address that concern.”
  • “David Lawrence Center is a very significant and very effective part of the effort to address mental health issues in Collier County.”
  • “I believe my background and experience in litigation as well as conflict management and resolution put me in a position to add value to the Center.”

Vernon and his wife have two teenage daughters who were born and raised in Naples, and both attend Gulf Coast High School.

Laird Grant Groody

Groody says she has seen the toll that mental illness and addictions can take on a family, adding that “early identification and treatment can mitigate some of the chaos, and DLC certainly is at the forefront of both.”

She adds that she is “most impressed with the professionalism at DLC. They provide a range of critical services with limited resources. DLC is very creative in providing the services the community needs and teaming with other service organizations to leverage better outcomes for their patients.”

Following a career in the investment world, primarily at U.S. Trust, Groody retired in 2008. Since then, she focused more on direct service volunteer work with Planned Parenthood and the Shelter for Abused Women and Children. She also served on the board of the Community Foundation of Collier County from 2014 to 2017, where she’s still on the emeritus board.

With her financial background, Groody says she can help DLC on that front as needed.

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